Good view vs crap service

Do some restaurants rely on the view and compromise on food and service?

by: JD Haasbroek | 09 Apr 2013

 I once worked for a restaurateur from Johannesburg who came to open a big 250 seater restaurant in Cape Town. He seemed to seriously dislike Capetonians.

Apparently our lack of ambition and unwillingness to spend money in his restaurant stemmed from Table Mountain and the multitude of beaches we have at our disposal.

“Capetonians expect everything for free,” he would rant. “You have these beaches and this mountain and it’s all free and so you expect everything for free.”

As a proud born and bred Capetonian I didn’t see his point, but all I could give him was that restaurants in Cape Town with sea or mountain views have always gotten away with shitty food and poor service.

As opposed to inner city restaurants without views that would have to rely on good food and service to get customers to return.

A couple of years ago I was standing outside one of these beach restaurants after lunch bemoaning the standard of service to a friend. “That was the worst service I have ever received,” said I. A gentleman passing commented, “Oh no. That was the second worst service I have received.” When I asked where the worst was he replied: “The last time I was here.”

And therein lies the problem. Because of a sea view it is easy to forget how poorly you were treated last time around, and of course the overseas visitors always want to be taken to a restaurant with a view.

Now that we are wrapping up the summer we would like to hear your opinions.

Are the restaurants with fabulous views stepping up to the plate? Are there still restaurants out there relying too heavily on their views or has the demand of a more educated customer meant that everyone is now judged by the same standards? Do you have these issues in Port Elizabeth? Durban? Johannesburg?

Let us know what you think in the comments below or tweet us on @food24 or @JDHaasbroek.


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